Supporting neighbors through volunteerism and charitable giving is an important part of BCBSMT's corporate citizenship. Giving back to Montana communities is an extension of its commitment to build lasting relationships with our members and health care providers.
In 2014, nearly 250 BCBSMT volunteers — referred to as Blue Corps volunteers — committed 4,000 hours to help community partners build a playground in one day, distribute much needed food, assemble care packages for our troops, provide warm clothing to many Montana Native Americans, and support the children and families in Montana communities in a variety of other ways.
What's more, BCBSMT employees donated $38,375 to the 2014 United Way Giving Campaign, helping 31 nonprofit agencies in Helena alone. Brian Johnson, executive director of the United Way of the Lewis and Clark Area, hosted a BCBSMT employee talent show to kick off the campaign.
"Raising money for United Way is an interim goal — the real goal is to build the organized capacity of people to care for one another in our community — a year-round activity," Johnson said. "Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Montana, a United Way pacesetter organization, embodies the spirit of giving and its employees set this goal standard for caring for one another."
Blue Corp Volunteer Highlights
On a single day in August, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Montana made one of East Helena's dreams come true. BCBSMT partnered with the City of East Helena and KaBOOM!, a Washington, D.C., based nonprofit dedicated to getting kids more active, to build a new playground in Main Street Park on Aug. 23. Approximately 300 volunteers contributed to the project, despite cold weather and pouring rain throughout the day.
Bike Park Build
Several employees of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Montana volunteered at the Vigilante Bike Park Build and Skills Day event in September. More than 30 volunteers wielding shovels, rakes and tampers transformed loose piles of dirt into a pump track, which is a series of dirt mounds (or “rollers”) and berms configured in a loop. Helena is known for its incredible mountain biking opportunities, and the bike park, which is in Centennial Park in the center of town, provides a great introduction to the challenging terrain nearby.
Yes We Canstruction!
The BCBSMT Build Montana Food Drive donated more than a ton of much needed and appreciated food and money to local food banks in Helena, Great Falls, and several of BCBSMT's district office cities throughout the state. Employees donated a grand total of 2,794 pounds of food to their communities!
Supporting Our Troops
Sending care packages to our troops has always been an important to BCBSMT and its employees. Montana Supporting Soldiers (MSS), a United Way partner agency, provides this morale-boosting service to our troops overseas. Blue Corp volunteers supported veterans by assembling care packages and providing financial assistance to MSS.
Warm Clothes, Warm Hearts
To help Native American neighbors stay warm during the long cold winter months, BCBSMT sponsored a Warm Clothes, Warm Hearts Clothing Drive. In 2014, employees donated more than 500 pounds of warm hats, scarves, gloves, mittens, winter coats, and boots that were delivered to Native American communities around the state.
Rolling Up Our Sleeves
Did you know that you can save three lives in under one hour? According to the American Red Cross, donating a pint of blood can potentially save the lives of three people who are in need of a blood transfusion. In 2014, BCBSMT employees donated 136 pints of blood to the American Red Cross, potentially saving 408 lives. The number one reason donors say they give blood is because they "want to help others."